SANIBEL, Florida – Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs, formerly of West Hartford, has been appointed spiritual leader of Bat Yam Temple of the Islands in Sanibel, Florida.
Rabbi Fuchs last pulpit was at Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford, where he served as senior rabbi for 14 years before retiring in 2011. He then served as president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, visiting more than 65 communities on five continents and teaching and advocating on behalf of Reform Jewish thought and practice.
In 2013, he served as interim rabbi of Congregation Beth Shalom in Milan, Italy. He then spent 10 weeks each year from 2014 to 2016 in Germany where he conducted services for the Days of Awe, lectured and taught at the Abraham Geiger College in Berlin and preached/taught in more than 20 churches and synagogues. He was joined by his wife, Vickie, in teaching about the Holocaust in local high schools.
Fuchs began his career as a rabbinic intern at Temple Isaiah in Columbia, Maryland, where he was subsequently hired as the synagogue’s first full-time spiritual leader, helping to grow the congregation from 58 to 385 families over the course of his tenure. He later also served as senior rabbi at The Temple in Atlanta and at Congregation Ohabai Sholom in Nashville.
Rabbi Fuchs also served as adjunct professor at Hartford Seminary and Saint Joseph’s College, and has lectured and/or taught at seminaries, colleges and organizations all over the country.
He is the author of What’s in It for Me? Finding Ourselves in Biblical Narratives (which has been translated into German, Russian and Spanish), ToraHighlights, and Why the Kof? Getting the Best of Rabbi Fuchs as well as over 400 published and blog essays.